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Everything posted by Blackheart

  1. We've used small, medium and large distributors in different markets to different effect. Like Bluestar says, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Its a good exercise to list what you like and don't like about your current distribution partner and use it to interview new distributors. Chances are, if they're small the problems may be timely payment and delivering product when it's ordered by retailers. If this is the case, this isn't a good partner to keep, regardless of their size. They're a liability to your business. Again, if/if/if that's the case, interview a few potential distributor partners, set expectations, set goals, define your and their responsibilities and go from there.
  2. What was the insulation they used?
  3. Would you use accounting software like quickbooks? This is no different in my opinion. Distillery management software is a big shortcut if you cant afford to hire someone with the skill sets necessary to track the data of your operation. You can spend ages figuring out the *required* way to organize your inventory, process, sales, addition to and removal from bond, etc. We did it wrong at first, had he TTB help us understand (anxiety producing, for sure), and then figured it out. Alternatively, you can subscribe to one of these software applications get it all correct from the jump, save time, money, and have a solid understanding of your businesses performance. We have done both. I choose the software. I and my staff prefer Whiskey Systems, but each system is worth a look to check functionality, cost, applicability for the size of your operation, etc.
  4. Terrible thing. This lawyer is a piece of work too. I cannot fathom why the counsel for a client facing a "possible" bankruptcy would solicit more money from customers. Perhaps it's worth asking your lawyer about standards of ethics for the ID bar assn. to see if this kind of thing passes muster.
  5. TBQH this guy is the only reason I watch these boards closely.
  6. Your specific location drives all of these numbers. Off the beaten path? Probably more bottles and tours vs. cocktails. In a high-traffic area? Probably more tours and tastings vs. bottles (maybe, depending on what times you're open, etc.). Groupon helps, but like before, location matters. These are often deal-seeking customers. Your product and deal (and the products) needs to be affordable or they'll bounce without buying a thing. It's helped us drive traffic to our shop, but the conversions have been sub 40%. They're just not big spenders, unfortunately, and we're in a value-conscious (not affluent) area.
  7. I'd be careful on estimating how to calculate value, especially from a distance like this and not knowing your particulars. The pricetag is dependent on so many variables, it can be staggering. Location, absolutely, but also what and how the business functions is paramount. On the one hand, if you're a lean shop, no dedicated sales (on/off premise, retail) or production staff, it's doubtful anyone would consider any cashflow formulas. They aren't buying a system, people or processes, they're picking up where you left off. And it would be absent the most important part: you. I would suggest FFE and assets (inventory/real estate) minus debt plus AR. If you have a self-driving production and sales team, processes that they follow without you directing their every step, budgets, plans/forecasts of sales, operations, etc., then the business may be ready to stand with or without you there. That' could be a better candidate for cashflow formulation. Just my two cents worth. I am certain there are more informed folks here too!
  8. A good read. Lots to consider for all players. http://portal.mshanken.com/vm2/3a79f565cc661e4a/25682/d78bc5f9e705567ca6473c7b9fa19141/25682
  9. I'd look for durability, support and cost as factors. We just bought a new one from Hanna (the old one is now the replacement backup). https://hannainst.com/hi99161-haccp-ph-meter-for-food-and-dairy.html It's spendy but we've had good success with Hannah in the past and they support their meters without any questions. I got this last one because it's robust, waterproof and high accuracy. Don't forget: you will need a backup in case your good one dies (or goes for a swim).
  10. A conflict of interest? Seriously? On a product you designed? All I want to do is get your help or at least insight on fixing a gearbox and mount on a mash tun you designed. You cant do that? You cant even answer one of the many emails I sent to this effect? Phone calls? Texts? I am absolutely dumbfounded and was worried, hence this posting. Oh, and one would presume you would want to discuss the equipment your new entity quoted us for? This is just so odd.
  11. We have some equipment he sold us and we're having some serious problems getting hold of him. Has anyone heard from him? Is he ok?
  12. Slightly off subject, I wouldn't expect most distributors to do more than fill orders that you generate anyway, especially if you're a new brand, or new to their market. Most of us are an insignificant rounding factor in their larger portfolio, so they're going to give attention and bandwidth accordingly. About 95% of the on and off premise sales will be made by the manufacturer or their sales team. The best you can hope for in a distributor is for them to pay on time and deliver what you sell. If they don't have trucks or reliable delivery systems in place, they're already batting a .500 from the start. I wouldn't put a ton of faith in a distributor that does not deliver/or uses ad-hoc means of delivery (if that's their proposition in the value chain). Getting tied up with a thinly-resourced partner in this regard will hurt you. Poor execution of the sales you generate by the distributor will only hurt you.
  13. We open and clean our columns about 2 x a year. Change gaskets, shine it up, and make sure all is well. I'd say a minimum of once a year, depending on use and what you're making.
  14. It was 22%. The seller offered to eat 4% of the cost.
  15. Lol, we just saw an 18% price jump on glass. And we order by the container. Remember that savings you scored on lower FET? FTW MAGA
  16. New or used. 300gal size. Message me on this system with what you have. Cheers!
  17. Hey there Steven. I would like to talk to you but you don't answer emails, calls or texts. Is everything ok?
  18. We have a Steve Cage wort chiller and a cold reservoir set up like Mike describes. Chills 300 gallons in about 30-45 mins, and that is with the reservoir being about 60-65f. And the tank will be about 75f when we're finished. Cool it down for a few hours and we're ready to distill using the same reservoir for cooling water. We have a small 5 hp chiller circulating the tank water and recooling it as needed. FWIW, Steve's design on this is great. Very portable, very easy to use. Money well spent!
  19. Ok, this one seems like it should be an easy one to determine. Is anyone carrying a stock 750ml Nordic style bottle with a ROPP closure? The lighter glass version is ideal.
  20. The filter housings are SOLD. The racks are still available. If you want them, make an offer!
  21. Still using the sockpuppet account, dude. Try logging in under a different one. That may help.
  22. Bumping this post with an additional two items, as well as a price savings! The racks are now $50 each. Plus: We are selling TWO membrane filter housings, both from TCW. Link: https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/basic-stainless-steel-cartridge-housing?taxon_id=3 20 inch models. Brand new, never used. Retail for $625. We are selling ours for $575. Or $1000 for both. Add a diaphragm pump and you have an awesome in-line filter set up! Buyer pays shipping from 29673.
  23. Agreed: Distribution is being consolidated all over the place. Consolidation means less competition. That means they take more in the value chain and we take less. New market entries/new distilleries: If you want to make some gains in the first few years of business, lobby your state legislature for limited self distribution. Especially if you volunteer something like paying an additional 5% of the taxes the state would have received had the distributor paid them as a middle man.
  24. We had the bottlematic for years. Bulletproof. Ran probably 20-30 thousand bottles without many hiccups.
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